Last week, officials at the University decided to give in to the bullying demands of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) when they requested that Bibles be removed from the university’s Memorial Union hotel. In a letter written to the director of Memorial Union, an attorney of FFRF stated, “It is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that a government entity cannot in any way promote, advance, or otherwise endorse religion. If a state-run university has a policy of providing a Christian religious text to guests, that policy facilitates illegal endorsement of Christianity over other religious and over nonreligion.”
So a Bible that lays inside a drawer is promoting Christianity? I have some information for the FFRF. You have to actually choose to pick up the Bible, read it and then make a decision about what you have read to actually hold a faith belief. It’s called religious freedom and the Constitution established this freedom so that bullies like the FFRF cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. Iowa State University has every right to allow those Bibles in their hotel under the First Amendment. The Bibles do not establish or endorse a religion. They are merely a representation of the exercise of religious freedom within the public square even in a public university.
In an e-mail to the FFRF, the Memorial Union Director responded, “The concern you raised about the availability of Bibles in the guest rooms of the Memorial Union has been taken under advisement and, effective March 1, 2014, the Bibles will be removed from the hotel rooms.” What a shame that a public university does not have the proper understanding of a protection put in place under our Constitution called the First Amendment. A protection which established that a state could not interfere with religion. Instead, Iowa State University just prohibited the free exercise of Christian religion by the Gideon Society, who placed the Bibles, while endorsing the belief system of secularism of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. If anyone is getting special treatment in this request, it is FFRF. Meanwhile, the Bibles might have remained hidden away in a drawer and read only on occasion and at will. Iowa State University just bowed down under the pressure that we find happening all too often in America in limiting freedom.
Watch here: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/bibles-removed-from-iowa-state-univ-hotel/